Hybrid Flexo-Digital Press Accelerates Turnaround Times for Folding Cartons
Zumbiel Packaging is an industry leader in innovative paperboard packaging. One of the cornerstones of its business is running large rolls of paperboard on flexo presses at 1,200 fpm to produce 12- and 24-pack beverage cartons. Typical order quantities are in the “hundreds of thousands to the millions” of impressions. Faced with increasing demand for faster turnaround times, shorter run lengths, more promotions, and late-stage content changes, Zumbiel developed a plan: integrate a wide-web flexo press with a production inkjet KODAK (Booth 11938) PROSPER 6000S Hybrid Press in a single web path. The initiative required the expertise of market leaders in micro-electro mechanical systems, inkjet printing, workflows, coating chemistry, press manufacturing, diecutting, and control systems.
Zumbiel’s hybrid 11-unit web press with platen diecutter runs high volumes at high speeds, combining flexo printing for static design elements with digital printing for variable elements.
The PROSPER 6000S Digital Press is specifically designed for this type of hybrid configuration. It uses KODAK Stream Inkjet Technology for a digital print width of 620mm (24.5"). When printing the standard resolution of 600x600 dpi, it can run 300 mpm (1000 fpm), or at 200 mpm (650 fpm) when printing 600x900 dpi.
Kodak’s nano-particulate pigment ink and intelligent inter-station drying enable high ink coverage with high quality at high speed. The 6000S Press prints on uncoated and coated folding carton substrates with optimal performance at board weights between 14 and 24 points. Water-based KODAK Inks and pre-treatment fluids are FDA-approved for indirect food contact; the press can hit over 85% of Pantone colors digitally, and 100% — including metallics — with flexo.
Hybrid flexo-digital printing enabled the company to form Zumbiel Digital and offer new services, such as “Web to Box” for on-demand production of branded craft beer boxes/carriers and food/beverage cartons, with a 70% improvement in time to market.